3 charged with murder in shooting death outside Salt Palace Convention Center

3 charged with murder in shooting death outside Salt Palace Convention Center

Salt Lake police respond to a shooting death outside the Salt Palace Convention Center on Sept. 3. (Salt Lake police)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Three men arrested in a fatal shooting outside a sneaker convention at the Salt Palace Convention Center were each charged Wednesday with murder.

Deng Mawut Buk, 22; Joshua Goy Riak, 21, of Salt Lake City; and Nogolweit “Nunu” Kug, 18, of Salt Lake City; are charged in 3rd District Court with murder and aggravated robbery, first-degree felonies, in the shooting death of Deliford Knight, 41, of Florida. Buk faces an additional charge of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony.

On Sept. 3, Knight was attending a shoe convention at the Salt Palace when he convinced the three men to play a game. Knight and his friends travel to similar conventions around the country in an attempt to defraud people out of money, according to Salt Lake police. Originally, police said Knight was running a “shell game.” Charging documents, however, state the group “began participating in what was later determined to be a card game.”

One of the defendants ended up losing money to Knight, police said, and the two sides got into an argument that spilled out of the Salt Palace onto the street near 150 S. West Temple.

“Kug began pursuing Knight, and eventually, Buk, Riak, and Kug began fighting Knight between a parked vehicle and a vehicle that was stuck in traffic. Knight got away and Kug pursued him, with Riak and Buk behind him. Knight was walking backward facing Kug and trying to get away. Kug then pulled a handgun out of his pants and pointed it at Knight, shooting him in the street,” according to charging documents.

Buk then ran toward the parking garage as the other two went through Knight’s pockets while he was on the ground and took what detectives said appeared on surveillance video to be a “wad of cash,” the charges state.

When police later caught up with Buk, he “had cut his hair off and told detectives it was because he was scared,” according to the charges.

When Riak was arrested and questioned by police, he said he “played several card games involving bets or wagers with Knight. Riak said that he lost $1,000 to Knight in the card games and claimed that (he also) stole $2,000 from his pocket,” the charges state.

All three men charged are documented gang members, according to police. KSL.com has confirmed that Buk is the brother of Buk Mawut Buk, 23, who is charged with murdering University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe. The three men are also part of the same violent street gang tied to several recent killings and violent crimes in Salt Lake County in recent years, according to police.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021 after many years of reporting for the Deseret News

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